Following an announcement by Filipino Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Austal has confirmed that the Philippine Navy will acquire six offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) from the Australia-based company.
Austal confirmed that it submitted a design based on the company's highly successful Cape Class Patrol Boat (CCPB) to the Philippine Navy as part of the acquisition process announced during a press conference by Defence Secretary Lorenzana over the weekend.
"We are very excited by the opportunity to partner with the government to build this strategic enterprise underpinned by the special relationship Australia and the Philippines share, and we look forward to resolving contractual arrangements as soon as possible so that we can start work on this impressive and significant project," Austal chief executive David Singleton said.
The submitted design is for a larger, more capable variant of Austal’s Cape Class vessels, which are currently in operation with the Australian Border Force and Royal Australian Navy, and were recently announced by the government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago as its next maritime protection asset.
Singleton said of the OPV design and the company’s long-standing presence in the Philippines: "Austal’s well established and very successful shipyard in the Philippines has produced high-quality vessels for the worldwide market since 2012. Austal recently announced a major investment in the shipyard, which will treble its capacity and allow it to build the largest vessels that Austal currently designs.
"The Philippines shipyard employs hundreds of local people in a broad range of professional, technical and trade roles, and has been responsible for developing the local supply chain in addition to working with local universities and educational establishments."
The variant developed for the Philippines is an 80-metre steel OPV that includes a dedicated helicopter flight deck and the latest technology in naval systems, including Austal’s MarineLink ship control system and class-leading ride control technology.
Austal is an Australian shipbuilder and global defence prime contractor that designs constructs and sustains some of the world’s most advanced commercial and defence vessels.
"Austal’s OPV will be designed in Australia and the Philippines but will be proudly built at Austal Philippines, by Filipinos, for the Philippines Navy. Our Balamban shipyard will not only be able to build the new vessels but also support any through life maintenance that is required," Singleton said.
As Australia’s largest defence exporter and the only ASX-listed shipbuilder, Austal has shipyards in Australia, the US, and the Philippines, and service centres worldwide.
Austal delivers monohull, catamaran and trimaran commercial vessel platforms – including the world’s largest trimaran ferry and multiple defence programs such as the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) and Expeditionary Fast Transport (EPF) for the US Navy.